There is more to what we can achieve with our minds and body in synchrony than both working individually. Although the mind and the body are two separate entities, they are strongly interconnected. There is a connection between what we feel and how our bodies respond to that feeling. The mind consists of our will, intellect, and emotions. The mind gives the command, and the body follows. So, the information we allow into our minds can influence our bodies. Likewise, what we do with our bodies can affect our minds.
Here are some factors that can promote your mind-body connection
- Eat Nutritious Food
Try to avoid “dietary stressors” such as sugar and caffeine. Instead, eat a diet rich in water, fruits, and vegetables. Eating a well-balanced diet with proper rest greatly improves our mental health.
Avoid alcoholic beverages. Many of us use alcohol as a tool to mask physical or emotional pain. However, this is never a good option. Constant intake of alcohol cause effects such as fatigue, headaches, and poor concentration. Other health risks such as liver damage, high blood pressure, cancer, and stroke also exist.
The consequences of abusing alcoholic beverages on the mind are equally harmful. Although we use alcohol to “lift our spirits” or “feel happy,” since it is a depressant. But while we can “drink to forget” our problems and anxieties, the reality is that we end up feeling more depressed or anxious the next day. So, it is best to limit our alcohol intake and, if you’re being treated for depression, refrain from alcohol altogether.
- Get Enough Sleep
Sleep can also play an important role in balancing our mind and body. Ensure that you sleep for at least seven hours daily. Alternatively, a short afternoon nap would fit in well if there is no room for seven hours of night sleep. A good night’s sleep keeps our mental focus in check and allows our body and immune system time to rejuvenate.
- Laugh To Combat Stress
Laughter is one of the best and most enjoyable medicines to maintain the health of the mind and body. Laughing triggers a series of positive physiological responses: our heart rate increases, blood circulation to our brain and body improves, and our muscles relax more.
It also tells our brain to release more endorphins, mood-enhancing chemicals that act as natural pain relievers, into our bodies. These help us to have a more positive outlook and become calmer.
- Build a support system
Build a network of people you trust for regular communication, whether a close family member, a friend, a doctor, a counselor or a support group. This helps to maintain a social circle that can act as a support system during challenging times. Staying connected socially is an integral factor for good physical and mental health.
- Engage in physical activity
Exercise is one of the most effective tools to improve mood, strengthen the immune system and keep the body in top condition. Studies have shown that physical activity releases natural endorphins in the brain. These endorphins increase physical energy and improve mood, concentration, and memory.
Exercise reduces stress on the heart and immune system. It helps us to cope better with daily challenges and maintain positive communication between our body and mind. This allows us to “clear our mind” and “listen” to our body. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate aerobic activity for most adults each week.
Establishing a positive link between our mind and body doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Simple things such as participating in social and team sports activities, walking down the street, or in our home will greatly benefit us. This is an important ingredient in keeping our mind and body in balance.